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#MeToo and Kids

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In the wake of high profile sexual abuse disclosures, accusations, indictments, and the social media campaigns of #metoo and #timesup, I am cautiously hopeful that we can usher in a new era in which the children of today are raised to understand and practice consent as adults—an era when “Yes” means “Yes” and “No” means “No.” And if someone can’t find their voice to say “No,” because of fear or discomfort, it is still a “No.”
 
I believe we need to address three urgent issues:

  1. Parents and our communities need to spend extra time teaching consent to boys and young men to counter the still ubiquitous images and messages of women as sexual objects who are supposedly just playing coy and need to somehow be persuaded or coerced into sexual activities.
  2. And likewise, we need to spend extra time teaching girls and young women, that they are intelligent, have a voice, and own the right to use that voice. We need to give them opportunities to express themselves and celebrate forthrightness.
  3. And, you, as parents, need to spend as much time building prevention teams as you are teaching body-safety rules. Body-safety rules alone are not enough. When you talk with a substitute caregiver (teacher, coach, nanny, tutor, etc.), you are letting them know that you are paying attention. And based on my conversations with child sexual abusers, a substitute caregiver, who is a sexual abuser, is less inclined to groom a child whose parent says, “May I tell you about my child’s body safety rules?” (See Build Your Prevention Team – the Easy Way).

Please read my posts and start teaching your children about consent today – and also take charge of building or expanding your prevention team.

Your Partner in Safety,

Feather

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